Month: April 2014

Every Man Needs a Man Mentor

manmentor

A good mentor, specifically a good Christan mentor is not just a good recommendation, but a necessary element in spiritual growth.  If you don’t have one, get one.  Stop waiting for some older, wiser, person in your life to identify the fact that you need a mentor and that they could be your mentor.  Just ask them.

Check out this post from The Art of Manliness that highlights this very point.

Every Man Needs a Man Mentor

by Brett & Kate McKay on February 15, 2009

When I was 15, I met a man who would have a profound impact on my life. His name was Andrew Lester. I first encountered Mr. Lester at church. He was the fun old guy that everyone liked being around. Despite being in his 8os, he had this boyish, mischievous look to him. He also made wearing a Breath-right nasal strip look cool. He wore them all the time. Mr. Lester was an artist by trade. His mother was a Cheyenne Indian, so his art focused on Native American motifs. A tribe called him the White Buffalo, and he made a really beautiful painting representing the name bestowed on him. I have print of it hanging up in my office.

While Mr. Lester dabbled in painting, his real skill was in sculpting clay. He sculpted mammoth busts of great people from history like Martin Luther King Jr., Jim Thorpe, and Western movie star Tom Mixx. When he wasn’t working in his studio, he volunteered in various community organizations aimed at helping underprivileged Native and African Americans. Mr. Lester was very active in the African-American community in Oklahoma and founded the Oklahoma African-American Museum Hall of Fame.

When I first saw Mr. Lester at church, I never thought he would become a mentor and good friend to me. But by chance, I was asked to regularly visit him and his wife to help them out around their home. Little did I know the impact this man would have on my passage into manhood.

A few weekends a month throughout high school, I would drive up to Mr. Lester’s home in Guthrie to visit him. Our visits usually began with me doing some chore around the house or in his art studio. This often involved me pulling some weeds or moving the big clay busts around in his studio. He sometimes had me actually work on his busts. I remember doing some fine tuning to Tom Mixx’s hat and nose with a chisel and some sandpaper.

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Happy Birthday Maddox!

Today Maddox turns 3!  Maddox is a man who knows what he wants.  Always has. Always will.  This little dude has to be one of the most determined, focused, and attentive 3 year old I have ever known.  He doesn’t miss a thing.  He notices when another kid at the zoo has on the same pair of shoes as Jonas.  He notices if we take a different route home from church.  He notices if his mom gets a haircut.  If he could give me a heads up occasionally, that would be great.  He notices everything.  He is also a pretty sensitive kid.  He can tell when someone is upset and he tries to comfort them.  The sweetest story about Maddox is how he treated a new student in his class last year.  This student was from China, didn’t speak English, and cried all day.  Maddox waited on him hand and foot and even fed him his lunch.  What a kid! We love our Maddox and are so glad he is our son.

streaker Snow Outfit Helper Guitar

 

 

Survival Lessons from World War Z

zombie3

The Art of Manliness outlines 7 survival lessons from the book World War Z by Max Brooks.

Here are a few of the lessons they mention.

1. It’s not if, but when

2. Zombies don’t care about your PowerPoint skills

3. Practice self-reliance before you need it

Read the article to check out the rest.

Due to some bad language and some pretty intense zombie descriptions, I wouldn’t recommend this book to a young reader.  It will definitely give them nightmares.  I do have to say however that it was one of the more entertaining books I have read and would move it up near the top of my favorite fiction books.  Just like the movie, the article is good, but the book is better.

Survival Lessons from World War Z

by Jeremy Anderberg

Before World War Z was ever a Brad Pitt flick, it was a bestselling book. It tells the story of the zombie apocalypse as a series of interviews conducted by our journalist narrator. These interviews are taking place years after the zombie war has ended, which makes it a unique telling of the popular genre. What really sets it apart from those other cheap zombie thrills is that it focuses largely on how individuals, communities, and governments would react to such a scenario. It’s almost more of a fictional sociology textbook rather than a novel.

Because of that, survival lessons abound. Whether in the actual apocalypse, or just a localized natural disaster (like what we experienced a couple weeks ago here in Colorado), these are lessons that anyone and everyone can start applying.

It took freak flooding in the city I live in to teach me the lesson that being prepared for disasters isn’t just for folks who are hardcore, it’s for people who are smart and want to come out the other end with their families and communities intact.

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Fake Love, Fake War: Why So Many Men Are Addicted to Internet Porn and Video Games

Orgasm without intimacy. Adrenaline without danger.  Sounds like the perfect ingredients to emasculate men.

Check out this great article about what some are pointing to as the “Demise of Guys.” This is something every guy or parent of boys should really consider.  How proactive are you at protecting your yourself and your boys from falling into this trap?

“Let’s teach our men to make love, and to make war . . . for real.”

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You know the guy I’m talking about. He spends hours into the night playing video games and surfing for pornography. He fears he’s a loser. And he has no idea just how much of a loser he is. For some time now, studies have shown us that porn and gaming can become compulsive and addicting. What we too often don’t recognize, though, is why.

In a new book, The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It, psychologists Philip Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan say we may lose an entire generation of men to pornography and video gaming addictions. Their concern isn’t about morality, but instead about the nature of these addictions in reshaping the patten of desires necessary for community.

If you’re addicted to sugar or tequila or heroin you want more and more of that substance. But porn and video games both are built on novelty, on the quest for newer and different experiences. That’s why you rarely find a man addicted to a single pornographic image. He’s entrapped in an ever-expanding kaleidoscope.

There’s a key difference between porn and gaming. Pornography can’t be consumed in moderation because it is, by definition, immoral. A video game can be a harmless diversion along the lines of a low-stakes athletic…

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The Cure for the Modern Male Malaise: The 5 Switches of Manliness

“The primal elements of masculinity sit within us like a well-trained regiment of soldiers that is ready and itching to fight, but sits waiting restlessly, and endlessly, in reserve. Core aspects of the male psyche lie dormant, and men find themselves as square pegs trying to fit into a round hole. Having butted up against this mismatch over and over again, men are feeling angry and restless, losing their motivation, and giving up.”

PHYSICALITY

CHALLENGE

LEGACY

PROVIDER

NATURE

If these words mean nothing to you, then I suggest you leave your man card at the door.  Check out this and the related posts from The Art of Manliness blog.  While this blog and its contents are not spiritual in nature, the loss of manliness has huge spiritual implications on our country, our families, and our culture.

The Cure for the Modern Lame Malaise: The 5 Switches of Manliness

by Brett on May 9, 2011

A few weeks ago, I caught the premiere of the Discovery’s Channel’s “Human Planet,” a television show about the ways people have adapted to survive in Earth’s most extreme environments. Perhaps a better name for the program would have been “Man Planet,” as the show primarily chronicled the incredible feats of men around the world–men the tentacles of civilization have barely grazed. There were men mining sulfur from an active volcano; men diving dozens of feet and holding their breath for five minutes at a time to spear fish on the ocean floor; men initiating their sons into manhood by teaching them how to train eagles to hunt.  Even seemingly pedestrian tasks like taking your kids to school were fraught with danger; a father escorted his children on a 60 mile journey through the Himalayas, watching for potential avalanches and walking over a frozen river that could have cracked open at any moment.

I was immediately taken in by the show’s spectacular cinematography. But it was the image of these men straining and sweating, risking life and limb to provide for and feed their families that really caught my attention.

And by the end of the show, a bunch of things I’ve been thinking about for awhile had coalesced together.

What’s Plaguing Modern Men?

There has been a copious amounts of hand wringing lately about the state of modern men, about the fact that men appear to be falling behind in life and seem unmotivated and listless.

Why all this concern? The statistics are familiar to anyone who has read this genre of articles:

  • Women are more likely than men to graduate from high school.
  • Only 44% of undergraduates at community and four year colleges are men.
  • Female college students have higher grade point averages than men and are more likely to graduate within four years.

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3 Ways To Stop Being An Ineffective Youth Leader

Being intentional is a key value in ministry.  A key phrase that always comes to mind is “Not Perfectly, But Intentionally.”  We have to realize as leaders that we are not perfect and are not always doing everything that we should or could to accomplish our mission.  There are things we don’t see or  understand and sometimes we even choose sin over godliness.  Shocking I know.  I’m not advocating that it’s okay, but it’s true.

While we may not be perfect, we can be intentional.  We can intentionally share the Gospel.  We can intentionally build relationships.  We can intentionally serve with excellence.  We can’t guarantee effectiveness, since it is ultimately a work of the Holy Spirit that causes any one to accept Christ, be sanctified, or changed in any way.  We can guarantee a clean heart before God as we intentionally seek to become more like His Son, Jesus Christ.

The 3 ways center around a leaders ability to “BE INTENTIONAL.”

3 Ways to Stop Being an Ineffective Youth Leader

3 Ways to Stop Being an Ineffective Youth Leader

By: Adam Ramsey

Making disciples is harder than you could ever imagine, but simpler than you would ever think. For those involved in student ministry, discipling young people is not really complicated—it’s just costly. You don’t need a doctorate in theology, but you do need to have died to yourself.

What exactly makes someone an effective youth leader?

Here’s an example. Melisa is a youth leader who has been leading a group of junior girls at Mars Hill Bellevue. Each week she opens up her Bible with these ladies, listens to their struggles and questions, and points them to Jesus. She also opens up her life by pursuing their hearts relationally outside of a program or event. And when she was away on a family vacation for a couple of weeks, two of her girls stepped up and led their peers the same way Melisa has been leading them.

Melisa is just one of many examples of a godly and effective youth leader. By the grace of God she is making disciples who make disciples, by sharing the gospel, sharing her life, and empowering young people to do likewise.

Paul reveals some powerful practices in the way he discipled those in the church at Thessalonica. His pen drips with insight and sincerity as he writes, “So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us” (1 Thess. 2:8).

What follows is the job description of every youth leader at Mars Hill: three simple yet costly characteristics of Paul’s leadership in 1 Thessalonians 2, which we use as a leadership model for anyone serving in student ministry at Mars Hill Church.

1. Be intentional about sharing the gospel

Paul reminded the Thessalonians that the most important gift he shared with them was the gospel: the message about Christ’s finished work on the cross for sinners. An effective youth leader has the gospel on repeat like 90s church kids with a new DC Talk track. When it comes to repeating the best news in the universe, if you feel like a broken record, you’re doing it right.

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The 10 Don’ts Of Leading A Small Group

Small groups are essential to real discipleship.  It is through the context of relationship that we can truly have an impact in the lives of others.  In student ministry having an effective small group ministry will allow your ministry to grow while remaining small.  A persons ability to really know and disciple students is limited to really just a few students.  Small group are essential.  I’ve posted a few other articles about how to improve small groups.  These articles are not groundbreaking.  They are just some practical ways to immediately make improvement in your small group setting.  They can be found here: “5 Things Small Group Leaders Should Say to Parents” and “5 Ways to Enrich Your Small Group Time.”  Below is another such post.  I can admit I have made a few of these “Don’ts.” Check them out yourself so you don’t repeats others mistakes.

The 10 Don’ts Of Leading A Small Group

Being an effective small group leader means doing a lot of things well.

It also means NOT doing a lot of things.

This is a list of what I believe to be some of the most common “don’ts” of being a small group leader. (I’d love to see what you would add.)

1. Don’t play favorites.

This is tough. I think sometimes we do it subconsciously. We will be naturally drawn to some students based on personalities, both ours and theirs. But, we have to be aware of this tendency and work to give each student his or her fair amount of attention.

2. Don’t join with other students in making fun of a student.

Even if it’s good-natured. It’s easy to fall in to this, especially with guys. It starts out with a few guys messing with each other. Seemingly harmless. But the moment your voice is added to the chorus, it changes. You’re an adult. And your words have a lot more weight. Stay away from making fun of a student, even if it’s a joke.

3. Don’t let details fall through the cracks.

This one owns me. I struggle more with this than anything on this list. Just this week I put a mother in an not so great position with her son because I had not communicated as clearly as I should have. Details will kill you. Do not let them slip through the cracks.

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